Spot prawn junkies: Your time is near.
The sixth annual BC Spot Prawn Festival is Saturday, May 5, at the False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf. Spot prawns – if you’re not addicted yet – are generally regarded as the caviar of the shrimp universe. Sustainably caught by trap in the cold waters off the B.C. coast, they have a delicate texture and slightly sweet flavour.
The free festival kicks off the start of the prawn fishing season with a loving tribute to all things spot prawn. Local celebrity chefs? Check. Fresh-off-the-boat prawns? Check. Wine and live music? Check.
And the best part: The Spot Prawn Festival is staged right next to Granville Island on the Fishermen’s Wharf. This working wharf in the heart of downtown Vancouver is the first stop for fishing boats laden with fresh salmon, tuna, scallops and, of course, spot prawns.
Hungry yet? The family-friendly event is filled with opportunities to snack, sample and swirl the best from B.C.’s waters and vineyards. Here are a few highlights:
To whet your appetite, Vancouver celebrity chefs Vikram Vij (Vij’s), Hidekazu Tojo (Tojo’s), Ned Bell (Four Seasons) and others will be on hand for live cooking demonstrations featuring – you guessed it – spot prawns (If you haven’t tried Tojo’s spot prawn sashimi yet, you’re in for a treat).
Then, it’s onto the main course. $12 buys you the plate of the day – off-the-boat spot prawns boiled fresh, a salad and freshly baked Terra Breads – not to mention a sample tasting of BC wine (There’s also local beer and other food options in the wine, beer and food tent).
Appetite sated, you can move on to the entertainment. This year, the Vancouver Aquarium (which lists spot prawns as a sustainable seafood option in its Ocean Wise program) will be offering the chance for kids to get up close and personal with live fish and other ocean creatures. They’ll also be giving away 150 children’s passes to the aquarium.
Plus, you can pick up autographed cookbooks from the local superstar chefs and catch live music on two separate stages.
And, when it’s time to call it a day, bring home a few spot prawns to cook up on your own ($12 a pound).
The sixth annual Spot Prawn Festival is May 5 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf, just west of Granville Island.
Any spot prawn fans out there? What’s your favourite way to have them?